A new partnership between the Fowler-Carragher Academy, Torus (a North West housing, regeneration, and development group), swim!, and Beth Tweddle Gymnastics was announced by Liverpoolfc.com today as the former Liverpool training complex gains a new life.
Ownership of the complex passed to Torus in 2019, and the group planned to convert Melwood into a “landmark mixed-use housing scheme, delivering affordable, sustainable, multi-generational living and enduring community connections.”
While Liverpool have moved into new facilities, those left behind at Melwood are nonetheless world-class in their own right, and making them a part of the new community asset became the goal.
The Fowler-Carragher Academy will take on the site as a way to provide “a range of brand-new training and educational opportunities for youngsters across the Liverpool City Region,” folding the training facility into Torus’s stated goal of giving Melwood “a legacy beyond football” — without complete disconnect from the site’s iconic sporting past.
Similarly, Steve Parry’s Swim! and Beth Tweddle’s Gymnastics will focus on engaging area children from a grassroots level, expanding the sporting enterprise of the former top level football training site.
Jamie Carragher and Robbie Fowler spoke to Liverpoolfc.com about the goals of the new Academy project.
“Partnering with Torus to kick off the new chapter in Melwood’s history was a natural fit for the Fowler-Carragher Academy and our mission to give local kids and young people opportunities to aspire and succeed.
“We are extremely excited to provide the unique offer of a fantastic education alongside a professional football program backed by sport science experts.
“Melwood will provide the opportunity of extending our offer and creating a beacon of national excellence, which we set out to create in 2015.”
Tweddle and Parry, both Olympians, are similarly excited to engage local children in swimming and gymnastics in the top-level facility.
Extending their connection to sport further, Torus have also announced plans in tandem with the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) to integrate options like supported housing for ex-footballers with dementia and other care needs into their development.
While nothing has been confirmed in this area, PFQA chief executive Gordon Taylor has spoken optimistically about the project’s potential.
“We are pleased to support this project in principle, with particular regard to looking after those of our former members in need. We hope Melwood could become a national blueprint for such supported housing projects.”